- 04:25 AM, May 22
It was hard in his early life, but Curtis James Jackson III aka 50 Cent finally made it to become a renowned popular African American hip hop artist the world ever has. Born on July 6, 1975 in South Jamaica, Queens in New York, he grew up in a broken home family. His hustler mother Sabrina Jackson died when he was merely eight years old, while his father left the family, leaving his grandmother to parent him. Losing those closest to him at an early age and encouraged by his desire for things would drive him to get involved in drug dealing at the age of twelve. Eventually encountering the law and making visits to prison, 50 pursued his dream of becoming a heavyweight boxer, but finally fell back on rapping.
Taking rapping seriously, it was in the mid '90s that the young man stayed away from crime and began making music. His break came soon thereafter upon meeting Jam Master Jay of Run DMC through a friend who instead of only taught him how to count bars, write choruses, and structure songs, passed over a tape of beats and asked him to rap over it. Getting the man impressed, he was signed to his label, JMJ Records. Unfortunately, the deal didn't result much which prompted 50 to leave the label and quickly signed another deal with Columbia Records, thanks to the platinum-selling producers Trackmasters who noticed his rapping skill. Beginning working on his debut album, he produced thirty-six songs in two and a half weeks, eighteen of which were included on his unofficially released album, "Power of the Dollar [Unreleased]" in 2000.
A trio of singles preceded the album's proposed release, namely "Your Life's on the Line", "Thug Love" featuring Destiny's Child, and "How to Rob", in fact, contributed to 50's rising to popularity. The latter track, which lyrics detail how he would rob particular big-name rappers, attracted a lot of attention thus making it a hit. Shortly after the release of the single, on May 24, 2000, just before Columbia was set to release "Power of the Dollar [Unreleased]", he encountered a deadly incident on 161st Street in Jamaica, Queens when an assassin attempted to end his life, shooting him nine times with a 9mm pistol while he sat helpless in the passenger seat of a car. Spending thirteen days in recovery, he survived but Columbia Records decided